Eclipse 19

“Team! The Namestone is indestructible! Kill her!” Valkyria drew her explosive throwing katana.  That weapon, Kang thought, packs the power of a star-core bomb, liquid-density plasma at 20 million degrees, albeit plasma that disappears after spreading a few yards.  Valkyria threw the katana at Eclipse.  The Screaming Skull gestured.  Black hail fell around the Namestone-Bearer.  Flashes of unbearably bright light marked the rest of the League Elite Team launching their attacks.  Something, Kang decided, was protecting Durand and the island, both of which would otherwise have been obliterated by the energies being unleashed.  The camera’s electronic filters were shielding it from burnout, but made it impossible for Kang to identify the attacks being used. 

Eclipse simple stood there, her shields unwavering under attack after attack.  Finally the throwing katana struck.  Eclipse was swallowed in an impossibly bright sphere of incandescent plasma. 

The sphere vanished.  Eclipse was still there.  So was the Namestone.  She flicked her wrist.  The Namestone vanished.  Eclipse stepped into a royal blue waterfall, unseen bells tolling, leaving behind a vacant flight of marble stairs.  Teleport, Kang thought, the waterfall and bells are the signifiers of her teleport.  And someplace in Europe, a team of teleport blockers are somewhere between having splitting headaches and becoming rapidly-expanding clouds of incandescent gas. 

Kang pondered what he had just seen.  He had never heard of this Eclipse person, which was at least unusual, given her power.  She’d done the unbelievable, walking the Maze and taking the Namestone.  The League of Nations Strike Team was perhaps the most powerful group of mortal personas in the world.  Valkyria’s throwing sword created the temperature found at the core of the sun.  The Screaming Skull was a Lord of Eternity, a group of immortals whose powers almost defied human comprehension.  They had all attacked, and this Eclipse person’s shields had not fallen to pieces.  Then she teleported from the battlefield, presumably by breaking the grip of the League’s teleport blockers.  Efficient shields demanded much less power than most personas would believe possible, but the defenses Eclipse had deployed against the Europeans and the Screaming Skull were still remarkable.

Chapter Three

The Invisible Fortress


 The Healing Matrix had promised: I would wake before sunrise.  Indeed, here it was, not yet seven in the morning, the sky still dark, the first hint of dawn’s early light mayhaps visible in the east, and I was awake.  I still hurt a lot.  I was also ravenously hungry.  The Healing Matrix had done more in two days than normal healing would do in two weeks, but it demanded calories.  You can call on gifts instead of eating, if you have the right gifts, but that’s not a good idea for a girl my age.  Not eating is an especially bad idea if you are doing high-intensity healing, which I am.  You really want solid food to replace all the chemical bits and pieces you are consuming.  Mum was emphatic about that, not that I wouldn’t want her cooking.  Now I have to put up with mine. 

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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